Parenthood is often defined by difficult choices, but for parents facing food insecurity, those choices can feel impossible. We recently met Yelani at a Food Bank distribution in Pittsburg. Yelani is a young mother of two who loves to cook and make purees for her baby with the fresh fruits and veggies she receives from the Community Produce Program. She lives in a household of four and told us how the free food she receives helps alleviate some of the stress created by limited resources and rising costs. “This program is super helpful and means we don’t have to shop as much,” she said. “With rising costs like childcare and gas, we have to make cuts. Thank God for EBT.”
CalFresh, a grocery assistance program for qualified individuals and families, provides a supplemental monthly benefit through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), which can be used in grocery stores and participating Farmers' Markets. The Food Bank works closely with agencies and programs, like CalFresh and Women Infants and Children (WIC), to ensure that those who qualify can receive helpful benefits. This helps create a safety net for neighbors like Yelani. Support from the Food Bank reminds Yelani that there are brighter days ahead as she works to raise her children and provide nourishing food. “I am saving money and when the baby is a little older, I want to go back to school so I can work in the medical field,” she said.